Jen Shah Just Got Real About What It Felt Like To Surrender Herself To Federal Prison

Jen Shah on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City on Bravo
(Image credit: NBCUniversal)

Jen Shah is currently serving her long stint in prison for charges related to wire fraud but is delivering messages to the outside world via social media. A recent update from The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star arrived via her Instagram page and detailed what it was like to surrender herself to a federal prison. 

Jen Shah documented her perspective of what went down the day of her surrender, which was later shared in an Instagram post. Take a look at what she wrote below, which detailed what was going through her mind as she drove with her husband "Coach" Sharrieff Shah and youngest son Omar to surrender herself at the Bryan Federal Prison Camp for her six-and-a-half-year sentence

Two miles from Bryan Federal Prison Camp (FPC), I could not breathe and my hands went numb. I knew I was having an anxiety attack. I made Coach pull over because our reception was poor while driving and I was not able to Facetime my oldest baby. We finally connected, I saw his face, and I cried so hard until he reassured me that it would be okay.

Jen Shah's oldest son, Sharieff Jr., was not present when she surrendered herself to custody but was finally able to connect with her once his father pulled over. It doesn't sound like Shah had the easiest time coming to grips with what was happening, though I'm sure that's to be expected of anyone who goes through the process of reporting to prison, knowing it'll be years before they're allowed to leave and be free. 

Perhaps then it should be no surprise that Jen Shah shared her feelings as the car drove closer to the prison, when it set in that she'd have to spend significant time apart from her family for the foreseeable future:

I didn't think I'd make it through today. It felt surreal as we drove to Bryan FPC, just minutes away from having to surrender. My worst fear and the unimaginable was about to happen–having to say goodbye to my sweet husband and the precious baby Omar (he'll always be my baby even though he's a senior in high school.)

It would undoubtedly be tough for any loving parent to imagine being split away from their child, no matter how old that child is, especially knowing it'll be that way for years. It's also not hard to imagine how surreal that situation may feel, considering few people likely expect that they'll face significant prison time in their lives. 

The entry continued with Jen Shah's memory of what occurred when she arrived at the federal prison. Shah detailed her final moments with her youngest son and husband before her official surrender, and what was going through her head during those moments:

We approached the gates and were told to pull into a parking stall next to a white van. It all happened so fast. There was a guard waiting outside of our SUV, and two more officers approached, who I later found out one was the Captain. I leaned over to the seat next to me and hugged Omar as tight as I could and cried as I buried my head in his chest and held him as tight as I could. Not wanting to face reality that this would be the last time I hugged him for a while.

In a separate post in which he read his wife's journal entry, Sharrieff Shah explained the reason it had taken so long for her followers to hear from The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star after she reported to prison. "Coach" explained that all writings that travel in and out of a federal prison must be reviewed. As such, it can take a while for messages to travel back and forth, which was part of the reason for the delay. 

Sharrieff Shah also noted that while messages can take time to travel back and forth, Jen Shah struggled to find the motivation to write her experience down and share what she was going through. He explained in the video that he was finally able to convince her to write if he promised to share the experience with her followers. Shah made good on his promise, so it's possible these journal entries could continue for some time. 

As mentioned, Jen Shah is serving over six years in federal prison after she pled guilty to charges that involved a telemarketing scheme that ended up taking thousands of dollars from the elderly. Shah's actions and trial were in the spotlight thanks to her role on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, and her crimes became a talking point on shows like The View and elsewhere. News on Shah might die down now that she's behind bars, though we can only wait and see. 

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City isn't releasing new episodes right now, but anyone with a Peacock Premium subscription can watch the series so far right now. It seems like the show will have to go without Jen Shah for a while, though that might be for the best, considering her rep's clap back at Andy Cohen's recent allegations about Shah. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.